By Jeff Gallatin
School officials have opted to take their time when it comes to establishing the 2018-2019 academic school year calendar.
After a public hearing at its March 27 board meeting, the board decided to wait before approving a final version of the 2018-2019 academic school year calendar. In discussions prior to the public hearing, district officials had been expressing some preference for starting the academic year the week of Aug. 23, with a short week for students of only two days. That plan also would include a full two weeks of Christmas vacation for students and staff. One parent spoke at the hearing and said not every family would support the Aug. 23 plan noting there are different preferences for timing on school start and vacation dates.
Keener said afterwards the district does have time to make its decision.
“We won’t have to officially set it until next January,” he said. “So we can gather some more information and get input on preferences from district families as well as staff members.
“We’ll do some surveys to see how different people and groups feel about different time frames for this,” he said.
Keener said the surveys would be on the district’s website www.bayvillage-schools.com in the next few weeks.
“They’ll be short but they’ll help let us know how people feel about different options,” he said.
During discussion at the meeting, school board member Lisa Priemer said one factor which should receive major consideration is the timing of Advanced Placement and other tests which relate to student academics and affect their collegiate opportunities.
Other board members said that will be considered when the board makes its decision.
Keener said the short-week start with only two days will still be a possibility.
“We haven’t ruled anything out,” he said. “Both the administration and the board have gotten feedback that people prefer that short week to start the school year. It’s easier to start the school year gradually with students only coming in for a couple of days the first week.”
In addition, he said district teachers would have professional days before the students come back to the classroom, which helps the educators finish preparations for the coming year.
Keener also said the district has gotten input that people prefer having the two full weeks during the Christmas holidays. District officials have said previously people have indicated giving students only partial weeks off during the holidays makes it harder to make travel plans or have family outings.
Keener said school would conclude during the first week of June with
the Aug. 23 start.
Other calendar options considered by the district included later starts to the school year as well as not having two full weeks for Christmas vacation.
Keener said the district tries to set the calendars as far in advance as possible.
“It does give people the chance to make some advance plans and we respect that,” he said.